Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A homemade bomb ripped through a passenger bus parked at a terminal in Digos City, Davao Del Sur province at 11.50 local time. A military spokesman said three people were killed in the blast and at least 25 people were injured, but a Philippine police source – quoted by a local radio – has denied that there are victims and reports that there are “only” 20 wounded, some seriously.
“It's an improvised bomb," said Major Armand Rico, spokesperson for the East Mindanao military command – we still do not know who was behind this attack”. According to Anthony Padua, Digos police chief, the bus number “LDS-506 had just ended its route when the bomb exploded”, but has so far failed to officially confirm any deaths. Police found a second unexploded device aboard the bus.
The motives for the attack and possible persons behind it remain unknown: the governor of Davao del Sur has pointed his finger at the Moro Islamic Front, who are no strangers to this kind of attack; on the other hand local police believe organised crime gangs from the area are responsible, and that they are targeting transport companies and shops who refuse to pay money for protection. In fact last year transport companies were threatened with attacks by local gangs after they refused to give in to extortion. In June 2007 a bomb planted on a bus in Bansalan killed 9 people. Involvement of fringe groups of the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, have neither been ruled out.